The very first idea that encouraged me to go into this business was when visiting the United Stated and seeing the demand for the Palestinian Natural Stone. But I noticed that they required unique designs with very detailed carved pieces. Also they needed products with very high finishes that most local factories didn’t provide.
Coming from an engineering background, and having the communication skills needed, I decided to start the factory and not only sell the stone items but also providing the customer with consultancy as well as the detailed work tickets for installing the stone pieces.
We started with 2 CNC machines back in 2011 and we have been growing and adding more machines to the factory, the last edition was two 8 axis robots that can carve and create almost anything.
The machines were financed at first with personal money, we went to a specialized trade show in the USA and the unique display attracted customers and were able to land a couple of big projects on the East coast. Over the past five years we were able to sustain the business and grow slowly from our own income, generating profit and investing in more machinery. Last year we needed to expand in order to fulfill the requirement of the growing market, so we had to get a loan to finance the two latest robots and we are planning on paying the loan off from the company’s revenues. The two robots are Italian made, top of the line 8 axis robots that are able to carve 3D Sculptures and statues.
We have received some support in participating in trade shows over the last couple of years from Paltrade and USAID, which enabled us to be known in the Gulf area, UAE, Kuwait and Qatar. We also provided projects such as private villas, shopping mall and lately a college. We have a very good reputation in providing on time, no color variation and even replacing damaged materials due to transportation.
Stone industry has no limitation with the new technology, we can keep adding new lines and the market is ready to receive the creativity in the stone, and creativity in the designs. Next step for me is to add the conventional stone machines, the way I function is that I send out the stone blocks to nearby conventional stone factories in order to cut into stone slabs and smaller pieces, this had created an extra cost for me to transfer the blocks to the factories and then back to my factory. I am trying in the next couple of years to have the production cycle completed at my factory which will result in less cost and more profit. And it makes the production process complete.
Short term plans is to increase marketing in the gulf area where there is a big demand for the Palestinian stone, we already participated in the Big 5 Saudi in March 2016. We will be participating in the Dubai Big 5 in November 2016. In the process of creating a hub in the Gulf area to market our products all year round not only during the trade shows.
Our factory provides top safety conditions for our employees; we create new job opportunities for the local community. We believe in gender equality when hiring, in fact around 90 percent of our management team consist of women. We provide all of our employees with good working conditions and job security.
We also give constant extensive training to our engineers and employees to develop new skills and experiences.
We are an environment friendly factory; we use water conversion and recycling. Building on a long-standing commitment to establishing and promoting industry-wide best practices that treat the source of our products (the earth) with respect, Jerusalem Stone Group is dedicated to developing and maintaining resource management and processing practices that minimize our impact on the environment.
Our company is committed to giving back to the community. We invest in economic empowerment and entrepreneurship for women. We also support education and youth development especially in sports and music.
As a major player in the stone industry, we pride ourselves with the accomplishments done so far and always looking for better ways and adding new products and lines.
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